Is­rael strikes 3 Syr­ian posts af­ter drone in­fil­tra­tion

Calls were made to Rus­sia, Jor­dan to make sure UAV did not be­long to them be­fore shoot­ing it down

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By ANNA AHRONHEIM

The mil­i­tary struck three Syr­ian mil­i­tary tar­gets overnight on Wednes­day in re­tal­i­a­tion for a Syr­ian drone, which in­fil­trated into the North hours ear­lier.

“The IDF holds the Syr­ian regime ac­count­able for the ac­tions car­ried out in its ter­ri­tory and warns it from fur­ther ac­tion against Is­raeli forces,” the IDF said.

Footage re­leased by the mil­i­tary showed missiles hit­ting a hut, a two-story struc­ture and a five-story struc­ture.

The of­fi­cial Syr­ian news agency SANA re­ported that Is­raeli jets “fired a num­ber of missiles to­ward some mil­i­tary posts” near the Druze town of Hadar and Tal Kroum Jaba, in the Quneitra coun­try­side, caus­ing only ma­te­rial dam­age. An­other strike by rock­ets and mor­tar shells tar­geted the vil­lage of Jaba caus­ing sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the houses.

As Syr­ian govern­ment forces con­tinue to ad­vance in an of­fen­sive to re­take the strate­gic Syr­ian Golan Heights from rebels groups, the IDF has stressed that the 1974 sep­a­ra­tion of forces agree­ment be­tween Is­rael and Syria be upheld and the de­mil­i­ta­rized buf­fer zone along the bor­der be re­spected.

On Wednes­day, a Syr­ian drone flew 10 km. into Is­rael be­fore be­ing in­ter­cepted by a Pa­triot mis­sile.

“The aerial de­fense sys­tems iden­ti­fied the threat and tracked it,” the IDF said, adding that it “will not al­low any vi­o­la­tion of Is­raeli airspace and will act against any at­tempt to hurt its civil­ians.”

Ac­cord­ing to Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, , the strikes were a mes­sage to the Syr­ian regime that Jerusalem will not tol­er­ate any vi­o­la­tion of the 1974 agree­ment.

“The agree­ment is be­com­ing more rel­e­vant now that the Syr­i­ans are com­ing back to the bor­der and Is­rael wants to make a point that they are seen as be­ing re­spon­si­ble to keep the 1974 agree­ment,” Yadlin said on a call or­ga­nized by The Is­rael Pro­ject.

Ac­cord­ing to the army, the drone, which was un­armed, was tracked be­fore it en­tered Is­rael. Calls were also made to Rus­sia and Jor­dan to make sure the drone did not be­long to them be­fore shoot­ing it down.

“We car­ried out a num­ber of checks be­fore the in­ter­cep­tion and the mis­sile was fired only when the con­di­tions were op­ti­mal for it. The air­craft car­ried out a mis­sion in the Golan Heights, in­clud­ing among our neigh­bors be­fore it en­tered Is­raeli ter­ri­tory. We wanted to know which coun­try it be­longed to,” the army said.

The in­ci­dent came as Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu met with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin in Moscow, his ninth visit this year. Is­rael is con­cerned that the As­sad regime will al­low Iran and its Shi’ite proxy mili­tias and Hezbol­lah to en­trench them­selves near Is­rael’s Golan Heights.

“When a drone comes from Syria these days it could be Syr­ian, Rus­sian, Ira­nian, or from Hezbol­lah,” Yadlin said. “The grand strat­egy is to re­move Iran but in this case Iran wasn’t in­volved.”

“Is­rael will not let any cross the bor­der but the sig­nif­i­cance of who it be­longs to is im­por­tant-Is­rael doesn’t want to shoot down a Rus­sian drone and that is why there was a 15-minute de­lay be­fore it was shot down,” he con­tin­ued.

“When Bibi is land­ing in Moscow he doesn’t want to have to ex­plain to Putin what hap­pened.”

A VIDEO screen­shot shows air strikes by the IDF in Syria on Wednes­day night.

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